published Thursday, February 14th, 2013

Dayton survey could reveal business needs

Motorists pass shops along Market Street in Downtown Dayton, Tenn.
Motorists pass shops along Market Street in Downtown Dayton, Tenn.
Photo by Dan Henry.

DAYTON, Tenn. — A survey of city residents and merchants could highlight needed improvements and ways to boost downtown businesses, according to MainStreet Dayton officials.

"The survey is a critical issue," MainStreet Chairman Randy Wells said Tuesday. The short questionnaire, about four or five questions, will help determine additional businesses and future improvements to further the group's plans for revitalizing downtown, he said.

Previous state revitalization grants have funded improvements to the intersection of Market and Third streets next to the historic Rhea County Courthouse.

Businesses surrounding the courthouse include three banks, the offices of bail bondsmen and attorneys, the county jail and The General Store.

Wells said that nearly $1 million in sales tax revenue, generated from businesses in Dayton's existing revitalization zone, had helped provide the supplementary grant funding needed for downtown improvements in prior years.

"It would be nice if we could expand it [the zone]," he said.

MainStreet Executive Director Anna Tromanhauser said the www.ShopMainStreets.com virtual tour has been updated with new businesses and existing businesses' facade updates, done in the second phase of Courthouse Square Revitalization Private Grant funding.

Tromanhauser said the group won't start phase three until the final projects in phase two are completed.

The promotional committee announced that six events are planned for this year, including Spring Fling in April. The group also will host the third annual Mid-Summer's Night Out on June 13, along with Pumpkinfest, the Holiday Stroll and the Christmas parade.

Tromanhauser said the group will participate in this year's Scopes Festival in July with the Chamber of Commerce, the Rhea Economic and Tourism Council and Bryan College.

Plans for later this year include the installation of LED lighting on the Main Street entry archway off U.S. Highway 27, the repair of downtown sidewalks and installation of a courthouse lawn irrigation system.

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